On 11th February the Borough of Lewisham announced it was to go ahead with new Additional licensing for landlords. For the next five years owners of HMOs above commercial properties in the area will have to have an additional license when they meet certain obligations. Those that do not have the license could face fines and other penalties.
The requirements for licensing are a little tricky to understand. The HMO must share a property with commercial premises, have five or more tenants in two or more households sharing, and be three storeys or more. Those that don’t should not need to be licensed but it is wise to contact the local council to check rather than run the risk of breaching the regulations.
Those landlords that do need a license should purchase one as soon as possible to avoid problems. The fees for them depend on whether the landlord is accredited or unaccredited. Those who are members of the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) or a recognised association can pay £400 for the license or £360 if they purchase before 31st March 2017. Unaccredited landlords will have to pay £500 or £450 if they purchase prior to the end of March.
If you need more information about the licensing you can visit the Lewisham Council website. Alternatively you can telephone them directly if you want to speak with someone. This is a good idea if you have questions or need to clarify anything.
With additional licensing some landlords may want to think about their options. A good alternative to renting privately could be to choose council leading in Lewisham. This way you can rent with the local authority and earn a set income every month. The security is good and you can get help regarding your responsibilities and obligations.
Again there is information about council leasing on Lewisham Council’s website. You can also contact our team at Finefair; we have a lot of experience in this field and offer professional support.